Again it is important to repeat, this type of activity is one long continuum. The IRS was previously used; federal contractors for the FBI have previously been used, and now the United States Postal Service is running a covert surveillance program against Americans that sounds suspiciously like the prior DHS announcement.
The Yahoo news article is filled with people saying they don’t know why. But that’s only because they have not been paying attention. The USPS has the systems in place to record every single package (sender and recipient), of every single piece of mail, sent anywhere at all times. They have a massive database of information on every single American.
So when you put the USPS statutory authority together with their technical capability, and then consider they operate their own police force… and then tie it together with “DHS Preparing to Use Private Contractors to “Scour Public Data and Social Media” To Compile Dissident Citizens for Watch List and No Fly Lists“…. what is described in the Yahoo article is almost identical to what we previously outlined.
Yahoo – The law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service has been quietly running a program that tracks and collects Americans’ social media posts, including those about planned protests, according to a document obtained by Yahoo News.
The details of the surveillance effort, known as iCOP, or Internet Covert Operations Program, have not previously been made public. The work involves having analysts trawl through social media sites to look for what the document describes as “inflammatory” postings and then sharing that information across government agencies. (read more)
Now compare that description to what we previously outlined:
Treehouse – The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is now getting ready to hire public companies, individual contractors outside government, to scour public data and social media in order to provide information for the new “domestic terror watch lists.” From the description it appears DHS is going to pay “big tech” (Google, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, etc.), via contracts, to hire and organize internal monitoring teams to assist the government by sending information on citizens they deem “dangerous.” (read more)
The Treehouse citation included the following NBC article.
[…] DHS is planning to expand its relationships with companies that scour public data for intelligence, one of the senior officials said, and also to better harness the vast trove of data it already collects on Americans, including travel and commercial data through Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Coast Guard, the Secret Service and other DHS components. (read more)
…It’s the same program.